Standout players from OTAs

Posted Jun 3, 2016 names three players that made the biggest impact during Friday's practice:   

Everything counts this time of year.

Every day, every practice and every meeting go into the evaluation process, which has ramped up during organized team activities. For the next few weeks, the coaching staff will get a good look at the roster at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center before breaking for summer.


“The objectives from OTAs is really learning and improving,” coach Ben McAdoo said. “You want to develop the fundamentals as best you can without pads on, work on communication – detail our communication there. Guys are really jockeying for position as far as where it goes for reps in training camp and the preseason games, whether they’re available or accountable and understanding when we get to training camp, it’s about building the team and it’s about competing for jobs.”

With that in mind, here are the standouts from OTA No. 6:


It’s a good thing Eli Manning was wearing a red jersey today. Otherwise, Jason Pierre-Paul wouldn’t have stopped. While non-contact OTAs greatly limit linemen on both sides of the ball, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul made his way into the backfield and disrupted a few plays today. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo liked it, and so did fellow defensive end Olivier Vernon, one of the key acquisitions by the Giants this offseason. 

“I see why he has been good for a long period of time,” Vernon said earlier this week. “He is very talented and is a good leader as well. As far as coming into the building, he has been nothing but inviting [to me]. He makes everyone feel comfortable. It is a pleasure to play on the other side of the ball with him.”


The rookie second-round draft choice made the highlight of the day with a red-zone touchdown from backup quarterback Ryan Nassib. The Oklahoma product has been seeing his number called more and more as OTAs go on.


“I think the biggest thing for me will be the speed of the game,” Shepard said when he reported to the Giants. “Once I get the speed of the game down, I feel like I’ll be adjusted. From high school to college, the speed of the game was a big thing.”


Like Shepard with Odell Beckham Jr. and Victor Cruz, Apple is learning from Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Janoris Jenkins. The Giants’ top two draft picks are expected to produce this year as rookies, and this is the time of the year to learn the ropes. Apple had another good practice today, highlighted by forcing an incompletion on a potential touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Myles White.

“It’s not going to be an easy adjustment, for sure,” Apple recently said of stepping up to the professional level. “I’m going to have to be in my playbook every day, talking to my coach and trying to pick the brain from other guys and get more experience out there.”